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      Police, Sheriff's Dept. urge families to "do homework" on Halloween

      Ghosts, goblins...witches and wizards! Halloween is here.

      And for the city of Homewood, it's a tradition within a tradition.

      "It's nice and safe," Andrew Didcoct said. "Free candy, free parking...get to meet police officers."

      For 25 years the Homewood Police Department has hosted a free event. There's games, candy and inflatables all for the children.

      It's all about keeping the children safe.

      "I think as long as you're in a large group and with your parents and trick-or-treat in your neighborhood where you know your neighbors and are familiar with should be safe," he said.

      Didcoct says safety is a major concern during Halloween. But for those of you not coming to Homewood, or trick-or-treating out of your neighborhood, police are asking you to do your homework.

      "Parents have the opportunity to go to the sheriff's office website," Jacob Reach said.

      Reach is with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. They want you to log on and check out registered sex offenders in the area you'll be in. Reach says it's not against the law for offenders to pass out candy.

      "They are aware that we're going to be out checking," Reach said. "It's not in their best interest, even though there's not a law against them handing out treats. It's in their best interest to avoid those types of situations."

      He says patrols will be out to help monitor offenders. Didcoct echoes the idea, saying it's better to be safe than sorry.

      "If that makes them feel safe and if they want to do that, they can," Didcoct said. "That's something that's provided to the public and if they want to take advantage of that, they need to do that."

      If you would like to check out sex offenders in your neighborhood, you can log on to